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England cautiously optimistic after win over Iran in World Cup

England are up and running at the World Cup after a thumping of Iran, 6-2.

This is the second consecutive tournament when England scored six goals in a group stage game. Four years ago, the Three Lions hit six past Panama in the second of three group stage games.

That year, England went on to extra time of the semifinals, only to finish fourth. It hopes this six-goal outburst has more in store.

Although Iran never made it out of the group stage in five previous tournaments, it is a strong team. In 2018, Iran only conceded just two goals in the group stage. That was one against Portugal, and one against Spain.

The first half an hour of the game was very stop-start. A major head injury to Iran No. 1 Beyranvand early in the first half delayed the game and resulted in 14 minutes of injury time added. Then, the second-half stoppage time was 10 minutes.

The positives for England

With Jude Bellingham’s opener for England after the half hour mark, England found the breakthrough. There was a collective exhale as the The Three Lions continued to dominate and reached halftime 3-0 up.

The standout performers from the first half were Bellingham and Saka. Saka showed no sign of nerves after the jarring experience of missing a penalty in the Euro 2020 final. Bellingham, at only 19 years old, showed he was years ahead in maturity. The midfield was dominated by the Dortmund player and West Ham captain Declan Rice.

Across the field, the England team oozed confidence against lesser opponents. This was not the nervy England performance of tournaments past. Rather, this was an England team with experience and confidence aplenty. It was a ruthless and professional performance.

A triple substitution in the 71st minute brought on Marcus Rashford, Jack Grealish and Phil Foden. For almost any nation, those three would start with ease. The strength of England’s squad was plain to see.

Even Harry Maguire gave a fairly good account of himself….

Source link : https://worldsoccertalk.com/news/england-cautiously-optimistic-after-win-over-iran-in-world-cup-20221121-WST-409310.html

Author : Aaron Mateer

Publish date : 2022-11-21 18:15:07

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